Grade: C

President Obama enters his second debate with Republican Mitt Romney on the defensive. Polls are showing a very close race and I have brand new polling numbers from this weekend showing Mr. Obama leading 47 percent to 44 percent; the race was tied at 45 percent apiece in the Washington Times/Zogby Poll just last week.

While Vice President Joseph R. Biden defended the administration in his debate and seemed to rally Democrats, Mr. Romney still has a 4-point lead among independents. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan scored a hit against Mr. Biden with a strong challenge on the Libya murders. What did the administration know? What did it not know? Why didn't it know and why did it say the wrong thing? "Inadequate intelligence" may not be an adequate answer for voters. Mr. Ryan equally seems to have energized Republicans.

Is the president better off than he was 11 days ago? No, but he appears to be holding on.

Last week's grade: C+